Cut Line: Hideki Matsuyama painted with DQ; The LIV Golf spinoffs will begin soon
In this week’s edition, we celebrate the boundless energy of youth, welcome Bryson DeChambeau – rust and all – back to the PGA Tour, and lament LIV Golf’s transition from the theoretical to the very real.
Youth. The old and the envious will tell you that youth is wasted by youth, but 25-year-old star-in-waiting Davis Riley seemed to have a pretty good idea of his youthful limits when we asked him last Sunday at Colonial if he gets tired.
“That period of a few weeks kind of got the better of me,” he admitted. “Another hot week at [AT&T Byron Nelson] and then passion obviously being a major [at the PGA Championship] It’s just a chore anyway, and then coming here and it’s 95 degrees is pretty grueling.
This week’s Memorial is Riley’s seventh start in eight weeks, as well as his fourth straight and his 22n/a start on the PGA Tour this season. But after his tie for fourth place last week, the grind doesn’t seem to be impacting his game, as evidenced by an opening 67 at Muirfield Village for a share of the Day 1 lead.
Riley needs a good week at Jack’s Place to break into the top 60 in the world and qualify for the US Open. Otherwise, it’s more golf with Monday’s 36-hole championship qualifying looming.
“I think if I have a really solid finish, I’ll have a good chance of getting out of my world ranking. But from now on, I have to play Monday’s qualifier in Columbus,” he said with boyish confidence.
Made Cut-didn’t finish (MDF)
WRONG. Bryson (middle Aldrich) DeChambeau returned to competition for the first time since the Masters and underwent surgery on his left hand, with predictable results.
DeChambeau posted a sloppy 76 on Day 1 at the Memorial and followed with a 77 to miss the cut. The poor play could easily be attributed to rust, and he didn’t seem too concerned about his first lap.
“As the day progressed, there were misses and shots that just weren’t right. With my golf swing, the hand was great. No problem with that,” he said.
DeChambeau is focused on the US Open in two weeks and given the nature of his operation, he is due a minute before observers start sounding the alarm, but there is no escaping over that player who threatened to redefine the game on his own terms may have also pushed. far beyond the limits of the human body.
Rules of Golf. In recent years, golf has torn itself from an often stoic past by simplifying and condensing the rules. But as we learned Thursday at the Memorial, there is still room for improvement.
Hideki Matsuyama was informed by Tour rules officials while making the turn at Muirfield Village that he was disqualified from the event for breaching rule 4.a.(3): “A substance or any treatment cannot be applied to the face. of a club that could influence ball flight, spin, loft or whatever on the ball, how the ball behaves.
There was paint on the face of Matsuyama’s wood 3 that made it non-compliant. A Tour official explained that because the paint was on the clubface, and not in the groves, he would be disqualified.
The problem here is that according to at least one equipment representative, paint – unlike other substances, like, say, petroleum jelly – has no impact on club performance. Maybe golf decision makers have a different opinion, but shouldn’t there be room for discussion and a little common sense?
The road back. Tuesday’s prime-time exit from the field for the first LIV Golf event brought many surprises – Dustin Johnson was in attendance; Phil Mickelson was absent – but it was the fallout that was most intriguing.
How the Tour plans to answer is the multi-million dollar question, and who else would consider a jump into the Saudi-backed separatist league. On Tuesday, Rory McIlroy was asked if he knew if those who signed up to play next week’s LIV event in London even wanted to play the PGA Tour again.
“Not really, I guess,” McIlroy said after a long break. “You know, you have guys in a position where, like, they’re literally not guaranteed a job next year. As we’ve seen, it’s a young man’s game these days.
“Someone who doesn’t have their Tour card guaranteed next year, another entity comes in and says, we’re guaranteeing you that amount for three years, plus you’re playing for a ton more prize money, and you play fewer events, you can spend more time with your family. … It’s very appealing to some of these guys who are in that position.
Players who have signed with LIV have made their choices and there is perhaps hope that, either through a likely legal challenge or an unlikely detente between rival circuits, they will one day be able to play both circuits. But given how things have escalated in recent years, it’s hard to see a way back.
Tweet of the week:
The only thing missing from Homa’s tweet was the perfectly GIF about Jon Stewart shoving popcorn in his mouth as he watched Rome burn. Whether the competition is good for professional golf remains to be seen, but there’s no doubting the intrigue it has created.